Free heat

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by lighthawk, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Last winter while I was laid off from work I went to work building solar heaters for all my south facing windows. I got the idea fromBYCers who posted a link to coloradowindpower.com and I thought why not give it a try. Rather than attach the glass to the front of the heater I built it so that the unit nests directly against the window pane. I also modified the design to place the fan farther from the frame to insure better air flow through the entire heater and I shortened the design so as to only cover the lower pane. The entire unit, sloar electric panel $30.00 (from harbor freight) the fan, $15.00 (from radio shack) the frame $15.00 and about forty aluminum cans ( we have a $0.10 deposit) $4.00. A one time investment that should easily pay for itself in one or two years and continue to produce heat for years to come. Assuming the sun shines! In the summer I just remove the entire unit from the window.

    This is the heater from inside the house The planter (chives) keeps the solar panel powering the fan flush to the upper windowpane. Air inlet at the bottom (so I am heating the indoor air rather than the outdoor air) and fan at the top.
    [​IMG]
    This is another view from outside.
    [​IMG]
    It is difficult to see the painted cans but the unit works beautifully. I put a similar unit in every south facing window in the house. The last cloudless day with full sun and an outside temperature of 20 degrees F. I held a thermometer in front of the fan and the air temperature coming from the unit was 104 degrees. Combined these heaters will raise the temperature in the living room, dining room and kitchen about 6 degrees and the furnace will not kick on from ten in the morning till 6 at night.
     
  2. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

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    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    Nice job! I want to build a few of these.
     
  3. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Quote:Thanks cindy. I would highly reccommend it.
     
  4. maple

    maple Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2010
    That's neat. My windows are all mostly facing east and west.
     
  5. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    Very nice!
     
  6. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Quote:This time of year east and west facing windows might not make it worth the effort. I just wish I had a sliding glass door on the south side. Making them taller would produce much more heat but I just don't want to cover the entire window. Covering 1/2 of a slider would probably double or triple the output.
     
  7. txhomegrown

    txhomegrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Como, TX
    Where was that post you were talking about? Was it on the forum of the site you mentioned? I would really like to build a couple of these. If you could show where the plans are, I would be grateful. I just can't figure out how it all comes together.
     
  8. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    Quote:Here is the link to step by step instructions http://coloradowindpower.com/page.php?26
    It
    is really quite simple to build. He set his up to heat outside air. I set mine up to heat inside air.
    Good luck with your project
    BTW
    Thanks jboyer01
     
  9. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Did you put this on Sufficient Self?
     
  10. txhomegrown

    txhomegrown Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Como, TX
    Thanks. After I posted, I quit being so lazy and looked a little closer at that site and found the page that you just posted a link to. I think I like your idea of heating the inside air better. I will play around with it and see what I end up with. Either way, it looks like it would help cut the heating bill some.
     

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